Friday, 20 May 2016

once and future

We’ve been posting these instalments a bit out of chronological order, but do hope you out there in TV Land are enjoying following along on our adventures. Solidified—but not without dispute—by the writings, commissioned in part for political propaganda by new minted king of a unified England Henry II, of Geoffrey of Monmouth as the birthplace and boyhood haunt of legendary King Arthur, Tintagel Castle was a masterfully enchanting place to visit.
According to the Matter of Britain, the wizard Merlin transformed Uther Pendragon’s appearance to the guise of his enemy Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall headquartered at Tintagel, so that he might sire Arthur through the vessel of his combatant’s wife, Lady Igraine, and thus over a generation, fulfilling a destiny himself to free the country from the Saxon yoke and unite England under one ruler.
Incidentally, among Gorlois’ legitimate issue was the enchantress and foil to Merlin, Morgan le Fay. Not that the beautiful scenery and archeologically troves needed the extra embellishment, this connection to Camelot had only one canonical mention and further associations have to be conjured by the imagination, which these wilds certainly do entertain. Some locals belief romancing the myth presently cheapens the experience by pandering to Arthurian legends, but Monmouth’s history was received quite uncritically until fairly recent times.
We hiked along the headlands with sweeping panoramic views to the ruined fortifications and took a stroll among the Norman walls and foundations of a medieval village, cured by the wind and surf, where one’s fantasy could run rampant.